US Treasurys higher after jobs report as as investors eye presidential election

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U.S. government debt prices were higher on Friday as investors digested October's jobs report and geared up for next week's presidential election, where some polls appear to show the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tightening as campaigning enters its final days.

Jobs in the U.S. grew by 161,000 last month, while economists polled by Reuters expected an increase of 175,000. The unemployment rate stood at 4.9 percent —in line with expectations —as investors got to digest the final payrolls report before Tuesday's presidential election.

"Bottom line, as I think its mostly relevant to look at the private sector, the data missed expectations in terms of job gains but it was encouraging to see the wage growth from an employee perspective," said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group. Wages rose 0.4 percent month over month and are now up 2.8 percent year over year.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note was lower at around 1.78 percent, while the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was also lower, at 2.57 percent, after trading lower earlier.


In a speech, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said Fed rate hikes over the next two years would be very gradual. "I anticipate a very gradually rising interest rate environment over the next two years...I do not see rates marching higher for an extended period in a preprogrammed tightening campaign. The economy does not call for that, at least not at this time," he said.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer are also scheduled to speak later on Friday.

In oil markets, U.S. crude settled down 1.3 percent at $44.07 a barrel, its biggest weekly drop since January.